Statement by the Honorable Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Head of the Delegation of Nepal to the NAM Inter-Summit Ministerial Meeting
5 April 2018, Baku, Azerbaijan
Theme: “Promoting international peace and security for sustainable development”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have brought with me warm greetings and best wishes from the people and Government of Nepal to the friendly people and the Government of Azerbaijan and to all delegations.
At the outset, I congratulate to you, Mr. Chairman, on your unanimous election to the chair of this meeting and pledge my delegations’ full support.
My delegation admires the excellent arrangements made for this meeting and appreciates the warm hospitality extended to us in this beautiful city of Baku.
I also wish to put on record our gratitude to the leadership of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as the Chair of our Movement.
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was born out of our collective desire for universal peace, unity, shared prosperity, fair international order, and balanced multi-polarity. As a founding member of NAM, its principles remain the guiding ethos of our foreign policy. Our commitment to NAM stands firm and unequivocal. In the face of global challenges, non-alignment as a principle continues to be relevant to guide international relations.
The race for armament, conflicts, civil wars, poverty, famines, and disregard of international law endanger international peace and security. The hunger and poverty continue to degrade human dignity. It is ironic that in the midst of unprecedented economic growth, millions of people still live in abject poverty, disease and deprivation. Whereas the military expenditure in the world exceeds 3.5 billion dollars every day, not even 7 billion dollars annually is available for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Attaining sustainable development goals becomes daunting in such an environment.
Peace, security and sustainable development are mutually reinforcing. Nepal’s own experience confirms that exclusion is a major breeding cause for conflict; and lack of peace and security can reverse development gains. Upholding values of democracy, inclusive governance, participatory development, human rights and rule of law are critical elements to ensure sustainable development as well as peace and security. Most of the countries suffering from conflicts and under-development are members of our Movement. Regrettably, the cumulative human, social and opportunity costs exacted due to the conflicts nowhere match the resources that we have spent for peace and development.
It falls on us to exert all our power for the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and help attain sustainable development. Our Movement can do a great deal in this regard. Just to mention a few,
- The success of one member in averting conflict and promoting sustainable development can be emulated by other members with similar socio-cultural and economic conditions. The NAM members, in a spirit of solidarity, should support each other by sharing their experiences, best practices and resources through South-South Cooperation. Nepal is ready to share its experience of uniquely successful peace process.
- It is also equally important to strengthen multilateralism by upholding and defending the principles of UN Charter and international law. Nepal believes that sovereignty, sovereign equality, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of any State are the cardinal values of multilateral system. They are indispensable for maintaining international peace and security as well as for achieving SDGs. NAM members should work together to make UN a strong, transparent and democratic institution through necessary reforms of its structures and processes.
- NAM should further strengthen its solidarity, and build internal cohesion and synergy. NAM’s common vision for peace, security and sustainable development should be well articulated for being heard and respected in the multilateral system. International rule of law counts supreme in this respect.
- The poor and vulnerable countries are marginalized in global economy. They bear the brunt of adverse impact of the financial and economic crises, and are left out from the benefits of international systems. Therefore, the international financial system should be democratized to make it more open, transparent and equitable for increased voice and representation of the landlocked, least developed and other vulnerable countries. It should ensure adequate mobilization of financial resources for growth and development of these countries.
- Trade and investment are critical for ensuring inclusive and sustainable development. The international trade and investment regimes should be open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory and should benefit the countries in special situation. To realize this, NAM must work closely with the Group of 77 through the existing Joint Coordinating Committee.
Turning to my own country, I have the pleasure to share this august session that having gone through a decade long armed conflict, Nepal now presents a uniquely successful case of home grown peace process. Our experience confirms that peace building in post-conflict society can be successful through honest dialogues, mutual respect, willingness to implement the agreements, and inclusive political process. A milestone in this process has been recently achieved. After the promulgation of the most progressive and democratic constitution in 2015, we successfully concluded democratic elections at all three tiers of federal structure in 2017. The elections ensured participation of all sections of our society with over 41 percent of women’s representation. With political stability firmly set, the government remains squarely focused on attaining economic development with social justice.
To conclude, Mr. Chairman, as guided by the NAM principles, ‘amity with all, and enmity with none’ has remained the hallmark of Nepal’s foreign policy. Nepal will continue to play active and positive role to promote this value in international relations. We will constructively engage with our friends to advance the cause of international peace, security and development. I urge you all to unite our strengths to ensure peace and security in the world, leave no one behind in the development process, and help achieving sustainable development.
I thank you.